Relaxing Environment for a Better Scan
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines can be a little intimidating for children and teens. It makes loud, knocking sounds. Kids have to stay really still through the whole scan, and the space inside the scanner is a little narrow.
So when Justin Gold, age 8, needs an MRI, he gets a little bit nervous. “Justin was born with a Chiari malformation and a mild form of autism,” his mother, Kelly said. Chiari malformation is a condition where a person’s brain stem is a little bit lower. This malformation can cause other issues like hydrocephalus, when too much fluid surrounds and injures the brain.
“He needs regular MRIs, but he has trouble staying still through the entire scan,” Kelly said. “That’s why we were really glad to find Children’s. It is just more intimate. Being at Children’s doesn’t feel like being in a hospital.”Sometimes children need special calming medicine (also called sedation) so that our technologists and radiologists can get clear pictures.
“The nurse was really gentle with him when he needed his I.V. (an intravenous line),” Kelly said. When a doctor needs to see how a part of a child’s body works, we might give him a chemical, called contrast, through an I.V.
Our MRI scanner even plays movies so children can watch their favorite films while they are being scanned. “Justin loves Transformers. So he got to watch that during the scan, which really helped him calm down,” Kelly said.
The good news is Justin’s scan came out just fine, and he isn’t scheduled to have another one for an entire year. But, when he does, the Gold family knows they’re coming to Children’s.